John Manzongo Photojournalist
Over 60 heads of State and Government, and foreign news organisations have requested to meet President Mnangagwa at the World Economic Forum (WEF), which opens in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, today.
The new administration came into office following the resignation of Cde Robert Mugabe on November 21 last year.
In an interview at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport ahead of his departure for Davos early yesterday morning, President Mnangagwa said his office was inundated with requests from foreign capitals whose leadership and organisations were keen on re-engagement and investment.
“We have many requests, in excess of 60 requests from Heads of State and news organisations who want to talk to our new Government, especially myself, but there is not much time to meet everyone. My Government is keen on meeting senior drivers of the economies like chief executive officers and Heads of State who shape the world economy, trade and economic growth and in terms of bringing about democracy the world over and fighting global terrorism,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said his delegation will showcase the new order to international financial movers and shakers. Zimbabwe, he said, was open for cooperation and trade and he would present an attractive pitch for investors.
Turning to the 30th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) that convenes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia later this month, President Mnangagwa said he will use his maiden appearance to chart new economic frontiers.
“In Ethiopia, this will be my first meeting as a Head of State where I will have a chance to meet my seniors who are seasoned Presidents. I will listen attentively to their deliberations and if an opportunity arises for Zimbabwe to say something, I will tell them that here we are as a new Government. We cannot live in the past because the future is more important. We want to co-operate with other regional counterparts. We are keeping our old friends but we also want to embrace new friends for the benefit of our youths and women,” he said.
The 30th Ordinary Session of the AU being held under the theme; ‘Towards a Peaceful, Prosperous & Integrated Africa’; runs from January 22 to 29.
President Mnangagwa is accompanied by a high-powered delegation comprising of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Lt-Gen (Rtd) Sibusiso Moyo, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa; Minister of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development Dr Mike Bimha; Head of Europe and Americas Ambassador Chitsaka Chipaziwa, Special Advisor to the President Dr Chris Mutsvangwa, Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya, Zimbabwe Investment Authority CEO Mr Richard Mbaiwa and other senior staffers in the President’s Office.
He was seen off at Robert Mugabe International Airport by the two Vice Presidents Retired General Constantino Guvheya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga and Cde Kembo Mohadi, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda; Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, service chiefs and other senior Government officials.
VP Mohadi is the Acting President up to January 25, after which VP Chiwenga assumes the duties till the President’s return from the AU Summit.